This week I was in Melbourne on a short course. So I resolved to use any available break to either run around for Christmas presents or to check out the little cafes and treats around the CBD.
I was in Little Collins on the first day so decided to grab a bite to eat at 'Henry and the Fox'.
Wood panelling, trendy drivers caps, marble and wooden tables and an open kitchen where you can see chefs whipping up your breakfast right in front of you. All these elements combine to make this restaurant a great place to start off your day.
I wasn't overly hungry so opted just for some scrambled eggs and latte but these were both superb. The sourdough was fresh, the eggs fluffy and buttery. The other choices on the menu such as the 'Corn Fritters' with poached egg and avocado salsa looked amazing coming out to customers. As did the 'Bubble & Squeak' with morcilla, roasted cherry tomatoes and sage buttler.
Definitely a great atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner with some friendly staff to make you feel at home.
Later that day came lunch which called for a walk to EARL Canteen. Now, the concept of this eatery is essentially rolls and salads. But there is a distinct difference. The fillings of the rolls here are more akin to a gourmet main and the salads are not your standard garden or greek.
I selected the 'Pork Belly' which came with moist pork, crunchy crackling pieces and filled with a shredded salad of cabbage, apple, fennel and silver beet. Some other choices included lime chicken, harissa lamb, chicken and chips, meatball, ratatouille.
To accompany the sandwich was a tasty salad of carrot, fetta, currants and balsamic vinegar. A sweet little berry friand was also placed in the 'lunch box' to complete the meal.
An excellent concept and it is executed well taking advantage of seasonal ingredients and appealing to foodies who want more than just a boring old roll for lunch.
Another opportunity came for a lunch outing so I decided to try the 'Vue Cafe' which is an off-shoot of the growing Bennett empire of restaurants and cafes. Again, I tried a similar 'lunch box' style lunch.
This time however, it was Christmas themed. A dinner roll with turkey, stuffing and crispy salad. A cup of pumpkin soup. Some crunchy crisps. A small salad and a mince tart.
Each element was an interesting combination of flavour. I felt as if I was a little kid eating my 'packed lunch' but at the same time felt like I was eating with family at Christmas. A great example of Christmas inspired food.